Prosecution failed to establish Najib's dominion over stolen SRC funds, court told

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's corruption trial involving RM42mil from SRC International Sdn Bhd failed to establish the former prime minister's dominion over the stolen funds, the Court of Appeal heard.

Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that there was a material gap in the prosecution's case on whether the RM42mil in funds actually belonged to SRC International, a subsidiary of troubled sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The source of the RM42mil - which was transacted out of SRC International on Dec 24,2014, as well as on Feb 2 and Feb 6,2015 - was also not proven by the prosecution, Muhammad Shafee added.

"The prosecution has not shown who caused the money of SRC International to go out.

"That is the most critical point. Who took it out of SRC? Who moved it out? But the same money somehow got diverted and went into Najib's bank account. Is this criminal breach of trust?" the lawyer said.

Muhammad Shafee was making his submissions at the appeal filed by Najib against his conviction and sentence in the SRC International case here on Tuesday.

In his written submission, he said it was the prosecution's case that the RM42mil was transacted out of SRC International by way of instruction letters that were signed by two signatories, former company CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and former director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin.

Nik Faisal, who is still at large, is said to be the mandate holder for Najib's bank accounts.

However, Muhammad Shafee said the prosecution itself had suggested that Nik Faisal's signature on the instruction letters could have been forged through a "cut and paste".

Meanwhile, the prosecution's star witness, Suboh Md Yassin, had given conflicting statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), where he flip-flopped on the issue of whether he did sign any transaction letter.

Muhammad Shafee said as the prosecution could not show that his client had dominion over the said monies, causing a "total collapse" of the prosecution's case against the Pekan MP.

On July 28 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Najib to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT, as well as each of the three counts of money laundering.

Najib, 68, is currently out on bail of RM2mil in two sureties pending appeal.

The appeal hearing continues before the Court of Appeal panel Wednesday (April 7).

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